Nike World Cup boots

The truth of the matter is, after years of being a fly on the wall in this industry and watching every equipment release with bated breath, there are aspects of the gear world that can get a bit under the skin. Luckily, my bosses {big thanks to Tony/Drew/and especially Matt [gone but never forgotten;) ]} and long-time partner-in-crime Jordon have always asked me to be completely truthful with reviews, articles, and opinions every single time that I write a post for The Instep. So, when things finally build up to the point where they creep past my filter that exists as some sort of “self-preservation” in this industry, I have to share it.

Enter “The Boot Rant”.

My first target: the absolute crock that is “boots by position.”

Before we truly dive in on the meat of this matter, I want to head another small boot “idea” that still seems to float out on the horizon from time to time. Does a boot make you “better?” The simple answer is “no.” There is not a single boot that will improve your shot, add any power, make you faster, or give you any other random attribute. However, it is possible for a boot to make you worse. How can that work? Well, as someone that has worn too many odd fitting boots, boots with horrible traction, or boots that are so painful that they could be used as torture devices, a boot that takes your focus away from the game or prevents you from playing in your comfort zone can make you worse. While it will be repeated several times in my lifetime (and, maybe, within this article), as long as a boot makes you feel comfortable and confident, then you have found the perfect boot…no matter how much it costs or how it looks.

Now, for “boots by position.” While commercials may tell you otherwise, while companies may place particular boots on particular position players, while the look and style might suggest something, and while some reviewers might even venture into this ridiculous notion, there is no boot that should be pigeonholed into any specific position or area of the pitch. While it is entirely plausible to believe that a defender may want a bulkier boot to ward off hard tackles and attackers may want a lighter boot to have a better touch on the ball, these small aspects should not make any player believe that they should be looking for any particular boot. Those ideals (i.e. a defender wanting a bulky boot) are merely personal preferences, which are EXACTLY the type of things you should consider when looking for a boot.

adidas Battle Pack

What type of boot do YOU want to use? Are you a defender that happens to love synthetics and really cannot get enough of that barefoot feel? Snag that adiZero…or maybe even the SuperFly! Are you a striker or winger that never truly moved on from the Predator X or tank-like boots from the past? Go get the Predator Instinct or a NitroCharge! Why do I know that this is the best way and why “boots by position” is absolutely useless? Because I used to buy into that notion! Yes, I used to believe that I had to wear the boots that my body type, my playing style, and my position dictated. I never ventured far from the shelter of the Predator or PWR-Cat…but now, I wear a HyperVenom in all my game-time moments! Do I play like the “agile striker” or “tricky winger” that Nike or people seem to say are the only ones wearing this boot? No way! I am a deep lying midfielder that relishes the idea of a 50/50 ball and loves nothing more than to ping a 45 yard pass! WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

Never ask someone what boot you should wear by telling them what position you play. Ask them what type of boots you should get for the surface you play on the most, what type of feel you like on the ball, what type of material you enjoy wearing, what type of fit that you enjoy, or maybe even what type of crazy colors that you like to have on your feet. All of these things are exponentially more important than what position you might happen to occupy on the pitch (even the color aspect). Find a friend that has your shoe size…visit a local soccer store…make friends with that one guy that has too many boots and wears your size…and try out as many boots as you can. Believe me, when you find that ONE boot that makes you forget about what you are wearing and able to fully focus on the task at hand, then you have found the boot that you need.

This rant could continue for thousands and thousands of words. It could call out “experts” and amateurs alike on attempting to spread a completely baseless notion. But it all boils down to finding the boot that you enjoy. If you are having trouble finding that boot, ask us for help…we love to try and match people up something they will love! And, above all, make sure that kids that are just starting to become intrigued by boots are aware of the “boots by position” falsehood and that anyone attempting to perpetrate this mere marketing mess is called out. It should never be “boots by position,” but it should always be “preferences for boots.” Thanks again.

*end rant*


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